Monday, June 8, 2009
Well yesterday was an exhausting day. As we prepare to build new garden sites and do other improvements to the property
we have spent many long days doing the heavy work of demolition and hauling away old buildings. By the end of yesterday
I fell into bed, neglecting to cover my delicate seedlings in the garden. When I awoke this morning to frost my heart
sunk. We lost about 10 tomato plants and a whole row of cucumbers. Ian is likely grateful that the zucchini was
also lost. The plants can be replaced and I learned a valuable lesson about saving a bit of energy for the end of the
day. A special happy birthday greeting to our good friend Aurora! Have a great day and remember to conserve your
7:33 pm mdt
Friday, June 5, 2009
A Farmers Creed
11:32 am mdt
I believe a man's greatest possession is his dignity and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than farming.
believe hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a persons character.
I believe that farming, despite its
hardships and disappointments, is the most honest and honorable way a man can spend his days on this earth.
farming murtures the close family ties that make life rich in ways money can't buy.
I believe my children are learning
values that will last a lifetime and can be learned in no other way.
I believe farming provides education for life and
that no other occupation teaches so much about birth, growth and maturity in such a variety of ways.
I believe many
of the best things in life are indeed free; the splendor of a sunrise the rapture of wide open spaces the exhilarating sight
of your land greening each spring.
I believe true happiness comes from watching your crops ripen in the field, your
children grow tall in the sun your whole family feels the pride that springs from their shared experience.
that by my toil I am giving more to the world that I am taking from it, an honor that does not come to all men.
my life will be measured ultimately by what I have done for my fellowman, and by this standard I fear no judgement.
believe when a man grows old and sums up his days he should be able to stand tall and feel pride in the life he's lived.
believe in farming because it makes all this possible.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Cats and Bats
Hello all, thanks for the great encouragement and feedback on the site so far. Let me tell you about my day. This
morning, I spent most of my time following our new cat around the yard, getting him out of trees, saving him from the dog,
trying to find him in the bush and generally fussing over the new member of our family. His name is Link and he is already
much loved. This afternoon I decided to let the cat into the big red barn to hopefully catch some mice. I pushed
open the big door in front, then pulled the slotted door to cover the doorway I had just opened. Hoping that in doing
this the cat could come and go as it pleased and to let some much needed air into the space. To my great surprise two
young bats fell from their resting above the door directly onto my head. Now i'm not sure what the normal reaction is
when bats fall on your head but I screamed in surprise. My scream brought an extreme overreaction from little Gus who
started balling and ran away. Thomas on the other hand ran for the bats and immediately wanted to know all about them.
The poor bats lay on the ground at our feet in the bright afternoon sun seemingly lifeless. I comforted Gus and put
on my best brave face. I explained to him, while trying to convince myself, that there was nothing to be afraid of.
I told him I had screamed because I was suprised, not scared. This satified him and he became equally interested in
the bats. now what to do with them. I went and got a small animal kennel from the garage, slowly stooped down
and picked up the first bat. Oh the poor thing, it was cute and still alive but very sleepy. I put him in the
kennel. Now for bat number two. Thinking he would be as docile as the first I knelt beside him with both kids
tight to my side and totally fasinated. As I reached for him, he threw back his little head, spread his wings full out
and open his mouth as wide as a vampire, bearing his teeth and letting out haunting hiss. I screamed, Gus started crying
and ran away and Thomas took one step back but didn't take his eyes off the evil looking beast. I calmed Gus down and
explained that I had screamed because the bat had surprised me, not because I was afraid of him. The bat still lay on
the ground so I made another attempt to pick him up, he cooperated and I put him in the kennel with his friend. Now
I wasn't sure what to do with the bats but I knew leaving them out for the cat wasn't an option so I decided just to put them
in the garage and Ian could deal with it when he got home. I was also pretty sure by the look of the bats that they
must be injured by the sliding door or maybe too young to fend for themselves. Boy was I wrong, once inside the cool,
dark garage the bats began to really wake up and perform for us. First they hung upside down inside the kennel, the
kids and I were fasinated by their small faces and little hands and feet. Then they decided they were leaving so one
at a time they squeezed through the impossibly small mesh on the kennel door and flew out the door. We watched them
go straight back to the slated door on the barn- which I can now never close again. Have a great day. Jennifer
9:50 pm mdt
Monday, June 1, 2009
Feeling a new blessing everyday
2:16 pm mdt
Well it's June 1 and the garden is coming along nicely, though a bit slow. The cold and snow in May seemed to stunt
everything and we still scramble after the evening weather reports to cover tender young seedlings. The early tomatoes
are in blume and the peppers in the cold frame are starting to fruit. Pretty much everything has erupted from the soil
in this past week except for the market gladiola, I hope to see them soon. As this is our first market year, we are
starting small and managable. We put in peas for fresh sales, onions, bok choy, chinese cabbage, glads for cut flower
sales, and we will likely have excess of everything that will also go to market as well. The whole garden is a huge
experient- we put in very few rows and went instead for square foot and box gardens that the kids can easily drive their dump
trucks and wagons through. We are also experienting with different watering and fencing techniques. In one corner
of the yard we are working on propogating perenial and native plantings that have exsisted on this yard site forever.
we are not taking much to market this year, we are building big gardens instead. We have two new garden sites in the
planning and development stages. One to the west of the yard site in the exsisting cattle pen and one to the east.
The west garden needs alot of work so we are clearing away old fencing, an old barn and grain bins. Once the demolishon
is complete we will remove all the topsoil, set it aside and grade the entire piece before returning the soil. We hope
to have this completed for planting in 2011. The east garden site is an exsisting cereal crop field, so after the harvest
is off, we will put up so protective fencing, irrigation and start planting spring 2010.
I am often caught in moments
of long reflection as I work in our little garden this year and think about the big plans and big work to come. I most
often feel an overwelming sense of blessing and graditude. I feel greatly honored to be the 5th generation of the Forth
family to toil in this exact soil. I feel highly responsible to instill in my children the love for this land that has
been inspired in me. I pray for the blessings of rain, warmth and insect repellent that only the Lord can provide.
And I most often pray that our home and our gardens will be a place of calm and welcome to anyone who chooses to share in
them. We are happy to invite all of of our family and friends to join us in our garden whenever possible (bring gloves),
Ian and I hope we can share with you the peace and joy we feel as we work to continue the farming legacy left to us by Wilhelm,
Gustav, Walter and Dale.
So feel free to post a note or garden hint for us and please stop in for a visit. Have a great